Hippo attacks man at his KZN home

2012-07-13 16:00

Cape Town - A KwaZulu-Natal man was bitten and gored by a hippo at his home in St Lucia, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park said on Friday.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife employee Anthony Swatton underwent an emergency operation after the attack, and was in a serious but stable condition, spokesperson Siyabonga Mhlongo said.

Swatton was confronted by a large bull hippo when he went outside on Thursday night to see why his dog was barking.

"Evidently surprised and cornered by the commotion, the animal bit and grabbed Swatton by his lower left leg, flinging him aside, and a tusk pierced his abdomen," Mhlongo said.

"It then moved off into the garden where it continued grazing as neighbours and doctors were called for assistance."

Swatton was operated on, on the same night, and was in intensive care on Friday.

Park authorities watched the hippo late into the night as it entered several other properties and observed no undue aggression or unusual behaviour. It did not seem to be injured.

The park said it would continue to monitor the hippo and then decide whether to relocate it.

"Hippo are a regular feature on St Lucia's streets and gardens and people are warned to bear in mind that they are dangerous, especially if threatened or cornered."

  • jason.children - 2012-07-13 16:29

    Some things do go bump in the night! Especially in Africa! I wish the guy a speedy recovery!

      briella.malohle - 2012-07-13 17:36

      Wish him a speedy recovery

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-13 18:14

    Hippo are often seen walking down the main road of St Lucia at night when it is out of holiday season and quiet. Part of the charm of the place. What happened should not have happened to a parkie, the okes should be sharper than that - but I guess living with these big nunu's all the time you get complacent. Where I live in the lowveld 2 people have been killed by hippo in the last 10 years - both on golf courses nogal. Both instances just people underestimating how dangerous these big fat cute looking creatures are. Get well soon Anthony!

      forafrica - 2012-07-17 12:28

      Imagine .. an experience game ranger and it happen to him ... what if it was a teenager popping out to the car to pick up his ipod ... ??

  • danscholtz123 - 2012-07-13 18:16

    Anthony had his left leg amputated below the knee. This was a very unfortunate incident and neither the \victim\ or the animal is to blame. My thoughts are with Anthony and I hope you have a speedy recovery ------ you were very lucky to now be in the position to tell the story. I hope this incident would serve as a warning to these arrogant and ignorant holiday makers to please treat hippos with respect they are not pets!!!

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-17 06:56

      The injured guy was a Parkie, not a holiday maker. I've never heard of a holiday maker attacked by a hippo in St. Lucia, have you?

  • jan.vanriebeeck.58 - 2012-07-13 18:21

    Foie toggies Hope the Hippo is well

      forafrica - 2012-07-17 12:29

      and your point being ... ??

  • africanwolf - 2012-07-13 18:24

    Nationalize all hippos !!!

  • teresa.branken - 2012-07-13 20:15

    This area is a wetland park and belongs to the wildlife and we as humans need to mind our p's and q's!Am sorry for the victim but it should be viewed as an unfortunate accident and it is the animals habitT!

      forafrica - 2012-07-17 12:30

      Claiming that Hippo has right of way over humans is as childish as the small minds conjuring the statement. St Lucia Estuary was proclaim a town in 1822. Sugar cane farming came in 1936. Who was first the chicken or the Egg. Individuals claiming St Lucia town has adequate fodder to host infinite number of Hippo should be sued for animal cruelty. I have to deal with slandering inbox messages, text messages phone calls and threats ... because some guest houses, visitors and newbies reserve themselves the right to force feed a massive 3 Ton animal on lawn grass. if you attended your Conservation classes you would understand the Diet requirements of free roaming mammals a little better. It takes a field ranger years of experience before he knows the burn cycle of veldt and the carrying capacity of certain fields and grasslands. I do not see any controlled burning of the town done by the residents or the authorities in an attempt to improve the grazing quality for the entrapped animals.

  • charnelle.bester - 2012-07-14 08:48

    Typical ANCYL member - Grab land without compensation!!!

  • dida.kode - 2012-07-15 16:12

    surprising,for a person who reside in St Lucia, I believe he's supposed to know better.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-17 06:57

      I think its called complacency...

      forafrica - 2012-07-17 12:31

      he did ... imagine it was your child quickly running to the car to get his/her ipod ...

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